Bill de Blasio

No longer on a pedestal: New York debates Christopher Columbus statues and the explorer's legacy

No longer on a pedestal: New York debates Christopher Columbus statues and the explorer's legacy

One statue in the nearby city of Yonkers was decapitated, the head dumped next to a trash can.

Another in Queens was defaced overnight with stenciled blue spray paint around the pedestal reading, “Tear it down. Don’t Honor Genocide.”

Monuments to Christopher Columbus are under siege throughout New York and beyond. While vandals have taken matters into their own hands, politicians are busy debating the Italian explorer’s past and future as a national hero worthy of so many markers.

The debate over Columbus is an especially tricky matter in New York, which is home to the largest Italian American population in the country.

The...

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